Monthly Archives: December 2014

Christmas, by pd Lyons; from Myths of Multiplicity


Even when I was a kid, Christmas was an exotic time. A magic of scents, tastes, and a certainty that anything was possible :

 

Christmas

heavy dark seeded bread
brown bottled beer you can’t see through
dry sharp salami
lumps of malachite shaped into eggs
glass beads ready for stringing
sheets of tin
strands of copper
damp dark tobacco wrapped with yellow paper
messages from gypsy horsemen distant relative to our mother

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LyonsCover01fin)free postage world wide from Erbacce press Liverpool UK

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Morning Piece, by pd lyons a maiden lane poem


another from my Manhattan days –

 

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This morning
Wrap myself
In a one of a kind memory
Close my eyes
Slip into my hands,
Cock my head back
Lean into a Manhattan Sunday
Just before summer
On the luxury side
Of uptown
Slightly smiling.

 

 

 

as published by Galway arts centre

http://www.galwayartscentre.ie/events/view-event/75.html 2013

“Tattoo on Leaving Gettysburg” —P.D. Lyons The Ides Of March Journal Version


may all who journey remember

may all who journey remember

“Tattoo on Leaving Gettysburg”
—P.D. Lyons

For Stacy

The dead of Gettysburg reach out, soak us with desire.
Teaching us its tears that shape their ghosts.

Even down at the Blue Parrot,
Drinking Pennsylvania Porter and Jameson’s
We find ourselves with them,

And at the motel
Phone ringing with 2am complaints,
Does not stop us the living from honouring the dead.

In the morning Stacy’s Chrome Garden
Soft hum needles lullaby beneath my skin,

Winged horses form a few more drops of blood for Gettysburg
While you, holding my hand as if in hospital
Think of ways to further delay our leaving

Because like me you crave the company of ghosts
And too you know the need the dead have for healing.

**

 

from the Ides of March Journal Vol 1, issue 3. september 2011

http://theidesofmarchjournal.blogspot.ie/2011/09/volume-1-issue-3.html

st. john

st. john

 

true, by pd lyons


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The clouds

do not take the sky

anywhere

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Maiden Lane, poetry by pd lyons


Back in the early eighties I was living in Manhattan. Studio apartment on Maiden Lane 14th floor – in love wth the city and in love with the girl i was living with. I was working in Queens – took the E train. Was due to start school at the School for Human Services. The towers still stood and I’d cut through the financial center to get across the highway and go grocery shopping. The Batter Park was fairly desolate in those days, especially in winter, but i could wander, any time day or night always something worth doing always even going no where was an adventure….

Maiden Lane

spoon-fed in the dark room

draped by butterfly hands

angels tiptoe all around

curling quiet across the bed

behind sunglasses and cups of old coffee

home to lands edge from the sea

the city stirs a brown wrapped overcoat

with room for damp cigarettes

and no place else to go

among the 4 A.M.’s.

~~~

down the block of slow return lean

one last quarter into the viewer

and there as far away as

possible, the rusted Dutch

freighter makes its way through

another sleepless night

like rain.

 

 

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titanic dry dock Belfast

 

 

promise, from : ceremonies of the horsemen, by pd lyons


indian pipe @ sleeping giant

indian pipe @ sleeping giant

 

prisoners of ghosts haunt the hallways of my own memories
past lives
opportunities regretted
twists and turns
I don’t want to leave only dried hollow husks
blown by my own reluctance to participate in my own and only treasure.

we lived in a time
when women sat beside us whispering on back porch landing’s
interrupted by the neighbors
running down the stairs
hands wet beneath Danskin purple skirts she spoke of how in past or future
it didn’t matter which but another life
I was her child she the mother
knowing I would go on to crucifixion
suckled me with salt water tears
glistening breasts mingling milk
into my hungry hot house mouth.

were there ever other places
other days,
freedom
confidence
a mouth full of meat
a belief in anything was possible.

I stood with someone once at midnight, the midnight
not just a time form but place
a place where midnight
born and lives out its days in each of us.
The place of my mid night sometime in October
out there by the water
breath rising in smoke
dew soaked shivering pirate breath kisses

I called you cypress by moon light,
buccaneer beauty I chose
there in the place of my own midnight
you but not you
rather the you of what you were.

I called you Guinevere by moonlight
lay down with you there
in the pace of my own midnight
among cold Halloween golf course grass
surrounded by stolen beer bottles
by a dwindling hedge barely separated from the street.

The only promise I ever kept –
never a mathematician or carpenters wife.
I have not even now more years than miles can tell – broken that promise.
Sometimes I forget I made it,
sometimes I forget to congratulate myself for not breaking it,
sometimes I try to barter it, threaten to turn my back if somebody doesn’t pretty soon pay me for it.

But I am not the famous rebel,
I am not the muse’s figure head –
quietly steadily I am only the keeper of my own promise
born from misguided Madonnas
introduced by pale white women the place of my own midnight

I have never stopped,
I have never turned back
that’s all I have ever really done
with all that treasure which was my life,
no big deal but still something real, no surrender, no slipping ,
no disparity of one who broke the only promise ever truly made.

 

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Simply the planet’s immune system …


“If the earth’s biosphere is viewed as a living, unified thing, could not the ever expanding billions of us be the Earth’s equivalent of a viral bloom?” – Ed Bishop)…

“then new disease emerging from felled rain forests are simply the planet’s immune system responding against us. ” – C. Pellegrino

 

a non commercial Xmas message – my traditional re-post


There is also a rival theory of the origins of Santa’s paraphernalia – hid red and white colour scheme, those flying reindeer, and so on – which is more fun, less commercial, more scientific and somehow more appealing ( possibly because it is politically incorrect). Patrick Harding of Sheffield University argues that the traditional image of Santa and his flying reindeer owes a great deal to what is probably the most important mushroom in history: fly agaric (Amanita muscania). Before vodka was imported from the east, this was the preferred recreational and ritualistic mind-altering drug in parts of northern Europe.

Each December, this mycologist, or fungi expert, dresses up as Santa and drags a sledge behind him to deliver seasonal lectures on the fly agaric. The costume helps Harding drive home his point, for he believes Santa’s robes honour the mushroom’s red cap and white dots. Commonly found in northern Europe, North America and New Zealand, fly agaric is fairly poisonous, being a relative of other more lethal mushrooms, the death cap (Amanita phalloides) and destroying angel (Amanita virosa). The hallucinogenic properties of fly agaric are derived from the chemicals iobotenic acid and muscimol, according to the International Mycological Institute at Egham Surrey. Ibotenic acid is present only in fresh mushrooms. When the mushroom is dried it turns into muscimol, which is ten times more potent. In traditional Lapp societies, the village holy man, or shaman, took his mushrooms dried – with good reason.

The shaman knew how to prepare the mushroom, removing the more potent toxins so that it was safe to eat. During a mushroom-induced trance, he would start to twitch and sweat. He believed that his soul left his body, taking the form of an animal, and flew to the other world to communicate with the spirits, who would, he hoped, help him to deal with pressing problems, such as an outbreak of sickness in the village. With luck, after his hallucinatory flight across the skies, the shaman would return bearing gifts of knowledge from the gods. ‘Hence the connotation of the gift of healing, rather than something from the shops, as it is today’, Patrick Harding says.

Santa’s jolly ‘Ho-ho-ho’ may be the euphoric laugh of someone who has indulged in the mushroom. Harding adds that the idea of dropping down chimneys is an echo of the manner in which the shaman would drop into a yurt, an ancient tent- like dwelling mad of birch and reindeer hide: ‘The “door” and the chimney of the yurt were the same, and the most significant person coming down the chimney would have been a shaman coming to heal the sick.’ So how does Harding explain the importance of reindeer in the myth? For one thing, the animals were uncommonly fond of drinking the human urine that contained muscimol: ‘Reindeer enjoyed getting high on it,’ he says. ‘Whether they roll on their backs and kick their legs in the air, I am not sure.’

The villagers were also partial to the mind-expanding yellow snow because the muscimol was not greatly diluted – and was probably safe- once it passed through the shaman. In fact, ‘There is evidence,’ says Harding, ‘of the drug passing through five or six people and still being effective. This is almost certainly the derivation of the British phrase “to get pissed”, which has nothing to do with alcohol. It predates inebriation by alcohol be several thousand years.’ Such was the intensity of the drug-induced experience that it is hardly surprising that the Christmas legend includes flying reindeer….

from: Can Reindeer Fly? The Science Of Christmas, by Roger Highfield

merry christmas to all

merry Christmas to all

 

Love Poem for Richard Brautigan, by od lyons


Today I heard on the radio that Richard Brautigan

Killed himself last fall.

Then some girl who was 17 in 1970 read his Love Poem.

She said that her then lover was a DJ on a college

Station and had dedicated a recording of the poem

To her, over the air, before he disappeared in a

Californian direction.

Anyway, I don’t know where I was.

Maybe I was washing clothes or asleep even.

Maybe I was with Jenny or Eva or somebody.

I could a been drunk, or depressed

As if by some sort of intuition.

All I really know is that I’ll never know where I was

When he did it.

I wonder how he did it.

Maybe I should go down to the library look him

Up on the newspaper micro-film file?

Most likely I won’t though, the library is closed now

And I’m not sure I care that much anyway.

Besides it’s one of those details I’m sure will

Accidentally find its way to me.

It kinda pisses me off that he did it, I mean he

Wrote that Watermelon Sugar book, I read it years ago

When Mary gave it to me and I, 15 in 1970

Watermelon Sugar and Mary my first lover go good together.

I don’t know about this suicide stuff though.

But maybe it’s nice not having to wake up alone with yourself

When you just don’t want to any more.

6/6/85

paris by pd lyons

from: Still Wishing To be Ravens

Ghosts of Christmas Past ( from NYC – Salamanders) by pd lyons


snow by morgan lyons

snow by morgan lyons

12.23.85.
Now two days before Christmas snow has stopped not amounting to much and well what can I say that hasn’t already been said about the joys and sorrows aroused by Christmas?

I like Green Sleeves, God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman, Good King Wenceslas, The Holly and the Ivy, and for some reason Barbara Allen strikes me as a Christmas tune. I also like the best cognac I can afford and of course Champagne – very dry and very French. It must be cold for Christmas, it doesn’t matter if it snows but it must be cold so I can wear my big black overcoat and a long red scarf as I take my 1 a.m. Christmas Eve stroll after having watched Alistair Sim as Scrooge on the channel 2 Late Late Late show. The best thing about Christmas though is the melancholia. a thick strong liquor, the true spirit of Christmas brewed from memories of child hood and from witnessing present instances of hope and faith – the faith of children waiting for Santa Claus – knowing he will some how come, the hope of church goers (pious as well as the annual) the simple joy of strangers on a street corner singing songs of comfort and joy with the salvation army band. These are the ingredients of the precious brew that one sips slowly sparingly alone in the cold in the middle of the night. For me my own special garnish is my son who I cannot see on Christmas and my mother (always the source of our childhood Christmas festivities) who has now been dead for this the second Christmas – and yet still there is something, as if Christmas gives me the courage to think of each of them remembering those happier times without depression.

How do I explain? It is the joy we give that lays the foundation for our own faith in our ability to be happy. The presence of hope when hope should not exist, joy in spite of all the compelling reasons for despair – that must be magic. It is the season when one searches out, both in memory and present day to day, these instances of magic. Ones awareness is sharpened so as to better find out and discover these instances of joy and hope. So as to be able to say: See! It is real! It does exist. Here! Here is an example and here look here! Against all odds should be the motto for Christmas. Truly a holiday common sense and the rational are definitely out to lunch. All mundane obligations – rent bills job etc. are finally (if only briefly) put into a proper prospective and totally disregarded in favour of the pursuit of bringing joy to some one else. Even money in all its blood soaked splendour is transformed into an instrument of purity when with it are bought the tokens which give delight, the tokens that symbolize our wish to give happiness to others. It seems that everyone now has this mission – to make other people happy, as if to prove it is possible to do such a thing even in this world.

For me the magic of Christmas is that although I have good reason to be depressed ( my son, my mother, no money, no job, etc.) I know I will find, because of Christmas, a sense of joy, a sense of thank god for Christmas.
When I woke up this morning I swore I wouldn’t write anything about Christmas. I even wrote I had nothing to say about it and now here I am writing a Christmas lecture but perhaps you can forgive me. I don’t mean to tell you how Christmas is and must be for you, this is just a little reminder to myself as how it is for me. Hopefully I’ve spared you from too much of the boring personal details but gave enough for a good outline.
To me there is a magic which only Christmas brings, a sort of reason-less relief from the mun-day- to-dane preoccupations. For others I’m sure they will interpret it in their own terms, perhaps this too is what makes it a special time because each may experience it in a personal way without infringing on another. But no matter, Christmas will, I’m sure have her way and I believe deep down even the most adamant “hum-bugger” will some how be affected by her as she makes her way down the street, cold, alone, sipping slowly on that thick strong brew she loves so well, her eyes alive with the knowledge that she has little to do with any religion and that its useless for mankind to resist her. Christmas is a determined wench, patience unlimited. It doesn’t matter to her how long the seduction takes – she knows whether days months or years the result will be the same – that eventually we all fall under her spell.

more snow by morgan lyons

more snow – morgan lyons photo

 

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